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Steps to Quality (STQ) is Idaho’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) for child care programs. STQ blends quality improvement and quality rating for early care and education programs. It is a voluntary program for child care centers and home based center programs. Programs participating in STQ work with regional IdahoSTARS consultants to assess, improve and communicate quality practices.
Read through a brief description of each step followed by a searchable list of rated programs by region.
STEP 1: Anchoring the roots of quality care and education.
This is a foundational step, with programs engaging in increased professional development, business practices and health/safety.
STEP 2: Growing and building upon a budding foundation of quality to ensure solid early care experiences.
Among other things, programs at this step practice higher safe sleep standards and engage in their first formal program assessment.
STEP 3: Celebrating and cultivating a strong and growing level of quality childcare that is recognized by the state of Idaho.
A great baseline of quality is verified in the program at this step, including minimum program assessment scores, responsive mealtime practices and active play.
STEP 4: Maturing and sustaining a vibrant understanding and implementation of quality childcare and business practices.
Programs at this step utilize lower teacher-child ratios and incorporate schedules lesson plans into their program’s structure.
STEP 5: Thriving as a childcare business and nurturing all children with quality early care and education experiences.
At this step, programs are integrating weekly documentation of the children in their care, putting inclusion and Strengthening Families framework into practice are thriving as a child care business, nurturing all children with quality early care and education experiences.
STEP 6: Firmly rooted in quality, achieving accreditation standards that meet the highest requirements for quality care and education.
Step 6 programs are nationally accredited, including the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the National Association for Family Child Care, Montessori accreditations and Head Start.